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P0017 Code: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnostics, And Fixes

The Crankshaft and Camshaft Position Sensor works to control the timing and general car delivery. These sensors come with a reluctor ring that goes through a magnetic sensor, which generates voltage to indicate the position.

The sensors are linked through their axes by a belt or distribution chain ensuring the cam-crank timing is precise. If the PCM detects that the signals are out of place for a certain number of turns, the code P0017 OBD2 is triggered.               

P0017 Code Definition

  • P0017 Generic: Crankshaft Position – Camshaft Position Correlation (Bank 1 Sensor B)
  • P0017 Chevy: Crankshaft Position – Exhaust Camshaft Position Not Plausible

What Does P0017 Mean?

The P0017 is an OBD-II code triggered when the camshaft and crankshaft don’t align as they should be. It’s often caused by the engine timing problem, which can happen because of several things including a loose or short wiring or a damaged power module.

In Chevy, P0017 is indicated when the crankshaft and exhaust camshaft position is not within 10 degrees. It can also be caused by wiring issues or when the sensors are bad. To fix this, you need to pinpoint the specific problem to avoid misdiagnosis.

What Are the Symptoms Of P0017 Code?

  • Engine Malfunction Indicator Lamp light up
  • Reduced engine performance
  • The engine fails to start.
  • Reduced Fuel Mileage.
  • The engine runs erratically or rough on acceleration.

What Are The Causes Of P0017?

  • Wrong engine oil filter or oil viscosity.
  • Contaminated or aerated engine oil.
  • Mechanical oil system failure.
  • Erratic Camshaft and Crankshaft position sensor signals.
  • Worn-out belt or distribution chain.
  • Misaligned timing belt.
  • Defective crankshaft or camshaft tone ring.
  • Bad wiring to the Camshaft or Crankshaft Position Sensor.
  • Shorted CMP sensor controller solenoid.

How Serious Is The P0017 Code?

P0017 is not severe in most cases and doesn’t require immediate attention. However, depending on the issue triggering the code, the engine performance can be affected. The fuel consumption will get worse and the engine runs rough. If you don’t fix the problem, there are chances that the engine will incur serious damages.

How To Diagnose And Fix The Code P0017

Tools you’ll need:

We use an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the P0017 code.
We use an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the P0017 code.
  • OBD2 scanner
  • Car specific service manual
  • An oscillator
  • Hand tools to access the cam and CPK sensors and other components


Step 1. Scan for other active DTC

Using the OBD scanner, check if there are any other codes available. Some of the common codes that come along the P0017 includes the P0009, P0016, P0018, and P0019. If these codes appear, they might make it easy for you to identify the problem. You will need to diagnose them and even fix them to see if the code goes away.

Step 2. Check the engine oil.

Ensure that the engine oil is full and clean. Clean pressurized oil is essential to the CMP actuator performance.

You must observe the oil level and make sure it is within an operating range. Make sure the oil is not burnt, old, or contains additives. If there is any issues, change the oil and filters.

 Step 3: Visually inspect the wiring, sensors, and connectors.

Many problems can be easily found in the connection or the sensors. Repair any open solenoid circuit. Check the wiring around the crankshaft and camshaft sensor. Repair and replace the corroded and damaged wires and ensure that all the connections are in perfect condition.

Step 4. Check the condition of the vehicle when the code is set from the freeze frame data.

Step 5. Checking the Cam phaser position.

There are a few things that can cause the cam phaser misalignment. First would be dirt and debris that plug up the inlet screen feeding the phaser, producing low pressure. Even more, helical gear phaser can be stuck from the dirt and debris causing misalignment.

Also, the phaser can suffer from mechanical damage, which can prevent them from returning to their neutral timing.

To fix all this, you need to use the scan tool to monitor the cam position. clean any sludge and stuck gear and repair any broken part phaser part.

 This test results can indicate several problems: If the phaser doesn’t come back to the lock pin at idle, the phaser is stuck in oil control. It can also indicate that the phaser is electrically stuck on VVT solenoid.

When the position is lagging or slow towards the desired position it can indicate a tarnished oil control valve. This can be resolved by replacing the oil control valve.

Step 6: Check for the timing chain misalignment.

 If the chain is misaligned, check for any damaged tensioner. Replace if it’s stretched or damaged. Otherwise, align the timing chain. Give you’re a vehicle a road test and check if it’s in the right place.

Step 7: Check for mechanical or electrical issues in the cam phaser.

If everything is working normal but still getting the code, it’s time to check for a faulty phaser. To determine this, you need to test the mechanical or electrical parts in the phaser. Use the oscillator to check the mechanical performance and replace any broken parts.

Step 8: If the code is still present, go to a professional for further diagnosis.

The vehicle might be suffering from a damaged PCM. This is rare but if present it can cause code P0017.

Note: After every step, you need to clear and retest the code to avoid misdiagnosis.

Common Mistakes While Diagnosing Code P0017

Common mistakes while diagnosing code P0017 include:

  • Failure to inspect the error code and problem before the diagnosis
  • Failure to follow the diagnostic steps which can lead to misdiagnosis.
  • Not visually checking the wiring and connection problems before replacing them.
  • Failure to use proper tools to check the faulty components.

Tips To Avoid P0017 In The Future

To avoid triggering the P0017 code, always check your engine oil according to the manufacturer’s standards. Only use the oil viscosity recommended in the manufacturer’s vehicle manual. Too thick oil will clog the oil valve and passages, which will lead to engine problems. Also, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine maintenance.

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